3 Core questions every business owner must answer

Who are you in the business?
There is a fantastic book called “The E Myth” by Michael Gerber that endeavours to deal with this question. He breaks the role of the entrepreneur down into three different categories: entrepreneur, manager and technician. The entrepreneur is the person who started the company and is focused on developing the business and its future. The manager is involved in everyday operations, running the business, planning and achieving results. The technician, however, is responsible for the technical side of the business and for performing the hands-on work for clients or consumers. Continue reading “3 Core questions every business owner must answer”

10 things small business owners need to know about their Facebook page

1. Use graphic images to get your message out
Entice your followers with fun graphics and images that get the message out about your business in a positive way. Research has shown that web users are more likely to click on a post that includes images as opposed to just text. A graphic image making site we recommend is Canva.com — this is a great site to use photos, text, and other graphics to create your next post! Continue reading “10 things small business owners need to know about their Facebook page”

Ignite – Sparking Self Employment

Sixteen years ago I set up my own business and I’m really glad that i took to opportunity to do just that.
For those of you that know me, you know that myself and our team at The Entrepreneurs Academy are all about getting people started up and staying in business.

We are now looking for 300 people who are currently unemployed who would like to create their own jobs and we are going to help them to do so.  We are starting in October, running the largest initiative in our 16 years. It’s a 6 month full-time, FREE start your own business training programme. It’s all about getting people who’ve been unemployed for a while, up and running in their own business.
It’s 6 full months and it’s FREE.
Please share this with anyone who you think may be interested.
Full details at www.igniteireland.ie


Down to Business – Weekly Radio Series

Joanne Hession, (Founder and MD at The Entrepreneurs Academy) will be joining Bobby Kerr on Newstalk Radio every Saturday morning for 8 weeks to talk about supports for start up businesses with thanks to AIB.

Each week we will be posting a podcast of the show here.

Please follow The Entrepreneurs Academy on Facebook and like and share some of our posts if you can. www.facebook.com/EntrepreneursAcademy. We are trying to extend our online reach to lots of budding entrepreneurs out there.
If you have good news or helpful info or tips to share with us please comment below and we will make sure others benefit through our Facebook.


Diara Mané – My Entrepreneurs Academy Story

Pursuing my studies in Inseec Business School Paris, in Master of corporate finance, I was seeking the occasion to expand my skills and have an experience in a challenging role in Finance.
Even if my studies have provided me with a detailed knowledge of financial institutions and have enhanced my interest in pursuing a financial career, I thought that it would be useful to have a real experience. So the story beginning!

Six months ago, I decided to apply for an internship in Finance among The Entrepreneurs Academy. Why The Entrepreneurs Academy?
I really wanted to have a true experience in international business and The Entrepreneurs Academy with its values,
seemed to be the kind of company that I tried to find.
My internship was great and very constructive for me. As Financial assistant I learnt lot of things in finance through my time with the company and i am very happy about the missions that the company gave to me, because I have had the opportunity to do so much (calculation of gross profit margin, set up cash flow, updates sales & expenses, the analysis of budgets…). This internship gave me a new outlook about the work in foreign country.

I want also to emphasize that i learned, not only in Finance, so many fundamental techniques that make me now a better communicator and now I feel more confident in doing some important tasks in company.
The aspect of my internship that I have enjoyed the most is the freedom to perform and to add new ideas. It has been an exciting journey for me. I think if my internship was a success it is because The Entrepreneurs Academy Team was very good and the first day of my internship I came to the office with a positive attitude and a readiness to learn new thing!

It was interesting to work with a company such The Entrepreneurs Academy because now, at the end of my internship I really understand the goals and the values of this company. This internship gave me the chance to improve my skills in finance, to go aboard and to be ready to start a new long internship.
Really I keep very good memories about this experience that is why I want to thank all the member of The Entrepreneurs Academy, most particularly Romina Trinidad my internship supervisor. She gave me an important support throughout my internship.

The Entrepreneurs Academy thank you again!

Innovation Day – Student Enterprise Programme

The Entrepreneurs Academy delivered Idea Generation workshop to @South South Cork Schools Enterprise Programme Innovation Day on Monday 24rd October to over 140 students and teachers as part of the Student Enterprise Awards Programme.
A fantastic day with some great ideas generated from inspiring entrepreneurs of the future.

The Student Enterprise Awards is the biggest enterprise competition for students in Ireland. It helps students to grasp real life skills associated with running a real enterprise including working as part of a team, managing production and finances, organizing a sales and marketing campaign and liaising directly with customers, judges and the media.

Student Enterprise Programme

Over the 10 years the Enterprise Boards have run this competition they have seen some remarkable success stories with high levels of innovation, ingenuity and clever sales pitches. The Entrepreneurs Academy team are delighted to be involved in thsi initiative to ultimately get help get Ireland off it’s knees.

What is really striking is how confident young people are in presenting their final proposals with many teachers remarking that students often develop self-confidence as they work their way through the different stages of their business. This is particularly true when students are taken out of their normal school environment to deal with external stakeholders who can help them progress their business idea.

The competition compliments the business studies curriculum and is a rewarding experience for transition year students in particular, who have that bit more freedom to develop their business concepts to the fullest.

Introducing enterprise to students in such a relevant fashion can only help to create more entrepreneurs in the future.

Some feedback received from some of the teachers already from yesterdays session in Cork ….

“…Once again thank you for a wonderful informative and motivational day for the students……. they love the whole experience and it will make our work much easier. Well done for the wonderful organised day. Well done!!…”

“…I just wanted to pass on our thanks for today. It was a great day, really well organised and an excellent opportunity for the students to learn and become involved in preparing for their mini company. Many thanks from both the students and myself. I look forward to speaking with you again….”

Further details on the programme can be found here :- www.studententerprise.ie

Facebook page for the South Cork Schools Enterprise Programme – Here


Student Enterprise Innovation Day Cork

The Entrepreneurs Academy – Speaking to Labour Party “Think In”

The Entrepreneurs Academy – Speaking to Labour Party “Think In”

On Monday last The Entrepreneurs Academy were invited to speak at the Labour Party “Think in” in Johnstown House Hotel, Enfield.  The theme of the presentation was “job creation and growth” and The Entrepreneurs Academy was asked to outline the part we are playing in Ireland.  I started by saying that 15 years ago I set up The Entrepreneurs Academy to provide practical training programmes to get people started up in their own business.  15 years later, getting people started and staying in business is still our primary goal.

We are an education business and we are entrepreneurial problem solvers.  We design and deliver solutions for Agencies to get people started in business.  Not only are we on the ground with entrepreneurs and start ups listening to their needs but we are also at the forefront of management education as we act as consultants to top European Business Schools advising them on their strategies and best practice.

I personally feel very passionate about the following points :-

• Self employment and running a business are extremely viable options for getting Ireland off it’s knees

• We have a huge number of great supports already in Ireland – this is good news

• The Entrepreneurs Academy are involved in the design of many job creation solutions – our success with our projects speaks for itself and more recently we are being paid based solely on our successes.  We welcome this new approach the Government is adopting.

• We need to focus on what’s really working and weed out what isn’t.


Self employment and running a business are extremely viable options for getting Ireland off it’s knees

The recent OECD Report (Sept 2013) cites “..innovative startups as the greatest contributors to job creation” (Lawless, 2013, OECD, 2012a).  Indeed with small and medium sized businesses making up over 99% of businesses in Ireland and accounting for almost 70% of people employed in the State, their importance cannot be stressed enough.  Despite Ireland’s reputation as one of the world’s most globalised economies, 64% of private sector workers are employed by indigenous non-exporting firms, with 56% working for indigenous, non-exporting SMEs. (Dept Finance Budget 2013 Presentation, 2012).  Entrepreneurs setting up one business have enormous ripple effects: not only are they creating a job for themselves and becoming role models for future entrepreneurs, they are in many cases reducing unemployment further by creating jobs for others.  As a country we must continue to support small business and start-ups for future growth and job creation.

The Good News….Ireland already has a lot

The good news is that Ireland already has a lot on offer for start-ups.  We have education/information, supports, facilities and finance and its relatively easy to start a business here compared with other European countries.  We have incubators such as in the Universities and those not funded by Government such as Telefonica’s Wayra; we have education, advice, mentoring and networks offered by Enterprise Ireland, the County & City Enterprise Boards, New Frontiers in the Institutes of Technology, Springboard programmes, Momentum and others such as the NDRC and Vodafone’s Smartstart network….this list is by no means exhaustive, there is plenty more out there.  There are online supports such as smallbusinesscan.com and financial supports such as Microfinance Ireland, BTWEA, Innovation vouchers, Funding through Incubators (New Frontiers funding; EI Competitive Start & Others; NDRC Launchpad), Business Angels, Venture capital……….and Banks.

We don’t have it all sorted and we don’t get it all right, but no country does.  We’ve got to focus on the positives.  Testament to what we have to offer Forbes cited Dublin as one of the best cities in the world to start a business in 2012 – and we’ve a lot more going on than just in Dublin!

The Entrepreneurs Academy’s Role

In our business we’ve designed and delivered many solutions for entrepreneurs to get them started and staying in business.  We design and deliver Start Your Own Business Programmes for University Incubators and County & City Enterprise Boards (soon to be merged with the County Councils as LEOs) and we deliver Accelerate programmes with Enterprise Ireland and New Frontiers and with others such as Google and Vodafone designing initiatives to get start ups working smarter and bringing their businesses online.  As well as having that very direct link and knowledge of what SMEs need we are also at the forefront of best practice business and management education worldwide.  We act as consultants to some of Europe’s top Business Schools in relation to strategy and best practice.

One initiative we’ve worked on in 2012 has been the Momentum programme.  Momentum is an initiative of the Dept of Education & Skills and is administered by FÁS.  The aim of Momentum is to get 6,500 long term unemployed off the live register and into jobs.  Over 30 providers such as QED were successful in the tendering process to deliver Momentum programmes and in each case, in a new step by Government, we are only being paid based on our successful outcomes.

In our particular programme we designed a programme not to get the Long term unemployed into jobs, but to get them setting up their own business and employing themselves.  We took 90 people and designed a progamme for them that was much more than a training in-class programme to get them set up in business.  Of the participants, 66% are male and almost 70% are over 35 years of age.


Participants trained on four networks in Dublin, Wicklow and Cork. The Success speaks for itself:

• The Entrepreneurs Academy received through the DSP Offices the full 90 targeted participants to train, mentor, coach, support and develop the skills that they need to set up and run a business

• After the 28 week intense programme only 5 participants had left the programme before completion

• 66 of the 85 remaining participants (78%) will receive FETAC certification at level 6 in Business Planning

• By October 2013 fifty+ new entrepreneurs will be trading businesses in the Irish economy with more to follow in the coming months, one is already looking to hire through the Jobs Plus programme

• Already, over 81% of the programme participants have set up their own business, are in jobs or are moving on to further education at Fetac Level 6 or Higher

• 100% of participants on this programme do not want to be on the live register; no participant believes they belong on the live register

• It is estimated that approximately 175 future jobs will be created within the next 3 years due to these new start-ups.

This is a success.  It’s a success for each one of the participants on the programme, for the Government and for The Entrepreneurs Academy.


The next steps for growth and job creation are to focus on what is really working and strengthen and expand these initiatives and stop what is not working.  Our Momentum programme is coming to an end and we are ready to take on more long term unemployed immediately and put them through our programme.  We’re not chasing Government funds, we’re not interested in charity, we are a well established business with proven success that has a team that is passionate about helping others get set up in business and we are happy to be paid based on our success.  The fact is, we won’t take on a programme unless we know we can make it a success.   We look forward to the support from the current Government and future Governments to help entrepreneurs access programmes like ours…..  because Ireland is a GREAT place to start a business and entrepreneurs will help get this country off its knees.